Big Dreams, Small Plates

Thirty-Nine Court’s creative menu is energizing the Plymouth dining scene

By Maria Allen | Photography by Kjeld Mahoney

With its prime downtown location, a block away from Plymouth Harbor, the restaurant Thirty-Nine Court has been the talk of the town ever since their sign went up. Local foodies were itching to know what sort of eatery would take over the space previously occupied by the Driftwood Tavern. In July, they got their answer.

Thirty Nine Court is owned and operated by chef Matt Story, a man who has spent much of his life working in South Shore kitchens, including Orta in Pembroke (back when it was owned by Jimmy Burke), 42 Degrees North in Manomet and Alma Nove in Hingham. In 2013, Story decided to take a stab at owning his own business and purchased Riva Pizzeria. His team quickly perfected the art of pumping out made-to-order gourmet pizzas from their Scituate and Marshfield locations. After several years in the pizza and catering business, Story was feeling ready to spread his wings again. Already living in Plymouth with his family, the Court Street location seemed like the perfect place to try out a new venture.

The restaurant has a relaxed, sophisticated atmosphere, thanks in large part to the design assistance provided by Story’s wife, Anna. The décor is understated and a shade rustic, with light colored walls, a tin ceiling and a beautiful custom-built bar with barn doors that keep the television hidden from view until after 9 p.m.. The aim, says Story, is to keep the focus on the food and encourage conversation.

The same could be said for Story’s small-plate menu, which is specifically designed for sharing, whether it’s a few bites at the bar or a large family dinner. With a wide array of dishes to choose from, Story was a little surprised when two of his most popular dishes turned out to be the cauliflower bites (he goes through six cases of cauliflower a week) and Brussel sprouts, prepared with candied bacon, red wine vinaigrette and shaved Grana Padano cheese. Other favorites include the Bolognese, gnocchi in lobster cream sauce with blistered cherry tomatoes, basil and breadcrumbs, and the burrata, which comes with fire-roasted peppers, crisp eggplant with toasted pistachio and arugula pesto. “I’ve never seen a burrata plate come back that wasn’t clean,” says Story.

Thirty-Nine Court has an impressive wine menu and plenty of local craft beers on tap. One local brewer, Second Wind Brewing Company, is located right out the back door. “I can call them up if we run out of something and they bring it right over,” says Story.

There are also new desserts on the menu every night, including many sweet dishes inspired by foods Story enjoyed eating as a child (namely, breakfast cereal). His cinnamon toast crunch bread pudding with salted caramel ice cream was a huge hit, as was his Captain Crunch butterscotch cookies served with dulce de leche ice cream. For a chef who loves to be innovative in the kitchen, it’s a dream come true.

Thirty-Nine Court, 39 Court St., Plymouth, 774-343-5657


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